Why is the Northwest Dharma Association important?
While it is true that we provide resources, publish relevant regional Buddhist news, and sponsor events that include a cross-section of the entire Buddhist community, I don’t think that’s why we’re important.
I don’t think NWDA is important because of what we do, but because of who we are.
We are a unique regional representative body of every aspect of the Buddhist Tradition.
In doesn’t take much reflection to recognize how far we as a society are from the values that the Buddha espoused. Greed, hatred, and delusion run rampant.
How much influence are we, as Buddhists, having on the greater society?
In the West, no single tradition or lineage is ever going to have the necessary impact to make a large difference. Unless Buddhists of every type and practice tradition gather together and start forming alliances beyond the confines of any form of sectarianism, our influence will never be great.
NWDA stands for our unity as dharma practitioners: our common allegiance to the Buddha and his teachings.
In my years with NWDA, I have had the good fortune to spend time with people whose lives are shaped by their commitment to their Buddhist practice. They have come from every type of sangha and affiliation with the dharma. The time we spend together is an amazing example of how society could be run if everyone embraced the teachings of the Buddha. We share the values of wisdom and compassion, no matter with whom or how we practice.
This vision of unity and the impact it can have on society – how our mahasangha efforts can model a healthier communal life – this is what truly inspires me about the Northwest Dharma Association.
May the healing power of the Buddhadharma bring peace and generosity to the world.